There really are just too many bands. How to keep them all straight? Is it really that hard? The real problem is that there are only so many words in the English language and that I am oh so dumb. Truthfully, how many of you out there have bought tickets to the wrong show, assuming you’d heard of the band only to arrive and find that Rag Stewart is actually a ragtime take on Rod Stewart and not that hardcore band you thought they were? (THE NERVE!) That’s just a (fake) example, but we’re here to give you real ones, and to save you from the trouble of waisting hard-earned money on ragtime shows.
If ever you’ve found yourself getting off the train at Myrtle-Broadway and walking in the direction of Palisades (RIP?), or maybe the Silent Barn, or wherever– anywhere but the nearest K2 dealer– you’ve definitely caught a glimpse of Enrique’s unisex salon. There’s no other place like it, probably on the planet, but certainly in Bushwick.
You’d be a fool to think that KPISS radio is some ramshackle operation. Sure, they might be tucked away in the far-back confines of Punk Alley– an assortment of shipping containers right along the Bushwick/ Bed-Stuy border where you’ll find a record store, used book purveyors, and even a mini-shop dedicated to paraphernalia from local punk bands. One by one, they’ve opened up over the last couple of years, joining maybe a dozen more smalltime vendors that were already there every day doin’ their thing, and about a year ago KPISS joined them. There’s no doubt that the KPISS.FM digs– a rectangular box with a couch and some turntables, mics, and other broadcast equipment behind a sheet of plexiglass– are pretty humble. “The last tenant was this guy who basically pissed all over the studio,” explained the station’s founder, Sheri Barclay. “No one would rent it, but I would. I called it KPISS in his honor.”
Latino Punk Fest
Sunday August 7, 6 pm at Aviv: $15
Sometimes the Brooklyn punk scene can feel blehhh so predictable, and hardly underground at all. But once a year, all of that same-old-same-old disappears. Enter: the 2016 Latino Punk Fest, happening at Aviv and featuring, as you might have guessed, Latino punk bands.
You’d imagine the punk scene is very anti-establishment and anti-racist and all that, partial as punks are to radical progressiveness and all that, but you’d be dead wrong to think that the scene is fully inclusive and 100 percent welcoming to women and people of color. That goes for Latino musicians too. So many of these bands are ones that you’re probably not used to seeing play the usual DIY suspects, even if you’re a regular at punk shows, but I strongly suggest that you take full advantage of your opportunity to soak em up now, because in my experience these bands know how to shred your face off.
If you were even a slightly sentient being in the ’90s, it’s pretty much guaranteed that you can sing along with most or maybe even all of Fiona Apple’s “Criminal”– it’s the kind of song that sticks with you forever, with its piano bang-bangs, a sing-along ready chorus that swings from shrill highs to lowest lows. The song even shares its opening line (“I’ve been a bad, bad girl”) with an old prison blues song. We’re a long way from 1996, when “Criminal,” Apple’s hit single and award-winning music video dropped (20 years ago, almost to the date), but it still vibrates with the same fiery angst, tight-fisted rebellion and, yes, youthful sexual energy the day that it premiered.
Gucci Mane came out of prison almost the same way he went in– engulfed in a flurry of productivity. That means new tracks, an autobiography, and of course, dollar bills. “Gucci got more money than all these rappers,” he declares on “All My Children.” Indeed. But it’s not just stacks of paper and rhymes that make Gucci, the bad boy with a heart of gold, one of the most recognizable rappers of his generation. It’s his ice-cream cone face tattoo.
Sometimes it can get a little old going to the same bars, galleries, shows, knowing the kind of stuff you’ll see there. So, shake it up with…
A live band at karaoke:
Saturday, July 30 at Cake Shop, 152 Ludlow Street, Lower East Side. Doors at 8pm, music at 9pm. $10. More info here.
Karaoke is always a fun choice (I’m aware many would disagree) but karaoke backing tracks can often be in weird keys and sound like an early 2000s MIDI version of the song you actually wanted to sing. That’s all about to change with Be Yourself Karaoke, a live band that specifically plays ’90s/early 2000s emo and pop-punk songs with audience members as the lead singer. The setlist of songs to choose from is much less overwhelming than those huge karaoke binders and includes hits from Yellowcard, Fall Out Boy, Say Anything, Good Charlotte, and more. Yes, that means you too can relive that dream of bopping around your bedroom yelling to MCR while wearing too much eyeliner, only this time you’ll have a microphone and a stage.
Continues weekly through August 17 at The Annoyance, 367 Bedford Ave, Williamsburg. 9:30pm. $5. More info here.
The school I went to didn’t really have much Greek life at all, but I can still acknowledge that fraternities and sororities provide rich material for comedy. A group of women at The Annoyance agree, and they’ve made this show to prove it. Blood Pact centers around a handful of sorority sisters who agree to regularly meet back up after school, but only during their time of the month. They describe the show as “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants meets Sex and the City meets Requiem for a Dream,” which is a combo I can’t quite imagine but trust exists somehow. Trust me, periods are so weird and complicated and interesting and crisis-inducing that there will certainly be a LOT to joke about.
Daniel Menche, Container, MV Carbon, Eartheater, Greg Fox, Ben Vida, Horse Lords, Profligate
Saturday, July 30, 5 pm at Pioneer Works: $20.
“A $20 show?” you’re probably saying doubtfully. “At Pioneer Verks no less?!” Well, yes, people– this superbly lined and fine-art surrounded setting might be an affair that’s just a tiny– ok, huge– step up from your usual scum-dwelling listening experience and therefore cooking up some wallet anxiety in you, but stay with me for a moment. For an Issue Project Room affair especially, we’re talking about a steal right here. Maybe more convincing for money flinging is the lineup, which is damn close to overflowing and replete with some of the best artists out there right now doing danceable, shapely noise-techno, including Profligate, and Eartheater.
Frank Hurricane, Machine Listener, Matthew Ryals, Xuan Rong, Skeleton Zoo
Monday July 25, 8 pm at The Glove: $7.
If you’re the proud owner of even half a heart, chances are that you’ve been feeling pretty sympathetic for those back-broken rust belters living in Cleveland, a population that’s shown more than a bit of plucky resilience in the face of economic desertification and industrial decline and governor who briefly campaigned for Pres on a platform that can only be characterized as LOL WTF. But the arrival of the Republican National Convention today just piles on the suffering– thanks to the blonde ambition of everyone’s favorite giant-human-mouth with its own reality TV show.
Brace yourself, it’s gonna be a hot one. With temperatures wavering in the ’90s this weekend, some people might not want to leave the sacred space of their air conditioning, despite how many of these very same people’s fashion choices reflect that they actually love the ’90s. But for those who want to be so occupied you forget about your melting and/or boiling flesh, here are four music and art festivals this weekend to spend your day and/or night at.
The name says it all– at Rainbow Hugs and Kisses: a Doomsday Celebration, Secret Project Robot will start saying their goodbyes to the neighborhood they’ve called home for the last five years. On Wednesday, July 13 (7 pm to 10 pm) the DIY venue will open the final art show at its current location with festivities and hopefully some booty-shaking to coronate what the SPR community’s calling a “magical realm.”